A rainbow-coloured flag fluttered in the background. The hall, beautifully decorated and contestants for the Mr/Ms/Mx Pride Uganda beauty pageant were getting ready backstage.
Then police stormed the venue heading to the dressing rooms where some were seen forcefully leading contestants away.
Just 48 hours later, organisers of Uganda’s fifth annual gay pride march gathered at a secret location to discuss what had transpired.
The pageant had been spoilt, and now the march, scheduled for last Saturday. It was to have proceeded through the capital city, Kampala. Instead it was called off because of the police’s heavy-handed raid and safety concerns for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) participants.
The Ugandan minister of ethics and integrity, Simon Lokodo, had warned that if the march were to continue, it would incite mob violence against participants.
Matt Beard, executive director of All Out Action Fund, said: “The feeling on the ground right now is that people are scared and extremely disappointed.” READ MORE OF THIS STORY
SOURCES: Mail & Guardian